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Balancing water use for hydropower and biodiversity in Loktak Lake, India

Our work in Loktak Lake, Manipur State of India focuses on the developing and implementing of a water allocation strategy that balances the use of water for hydropower generation and biodiversity habitat.

Project Description:

In 2011, the Steering Committee of Government of Manipur State has agreed to implement the water policy for Loktak Lake. Our South Asia team developed this more balanced water allocation policy over the past three years, in consultation with hydropower producing company, state government agencies, NGOs / CSOs, fishers and agriculture farmers.

About Loktak Lake

Loktak Lake is the largest freswater lake in India, located at an alittude of 768.5m,  and is also called the 'floating lake' due to its floating vegetation. It is located near Moirang in Manipur state, in north of India. Some 100,000 people live around the lake in some 55 rural and urban hamlets.


Loktak Lake is the only location where the globally endangered deer species, Cervus eldi eldi or the Manipur Brow-antlered Deer, is found. Other biodiversity include migratory fish species from the Chindwin-Irrawady river system. This initiative is a strategic shift from hydropower dominated water allocation system, which had led to deterioration of species habitat and dimunition of livelihoods of dependant communities.


Loktak Lake is registered in the Montreaux Record for changes in ecological character due to unsustainable water use for hydropower which has affected the habitat of the Manipur Brow-antlered Deer (or Eld’s deer -Rucervus eldi eldi). The Montreux Record is an international list of wetlands , maintained by Ramsar Convention, of the sites going or likely to undergo changes in ecological character and requiring priority attention by their national government. Read more...



Loktak Newsletter Vol. 6

Loktak Newsletter Vol. 5

Loktak Newsletter Vol. 4

Loktak Newsletter Vol. 3


The Atlas of Loktak Lake

Project Partners:

Loktak Development Authority

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